Erraring Extension Common Sense

Written by:
7 March 2024
Erraring Extension Common Sense - Featured image

“The likely extension of the Eraring coal-fired power station’s operations in New South Wales is a victory for common sense and a recognition by our political leaders that net zero requires a drastic re-think”, said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

Today, it was reported that the New South Wales government is nearing agreement to ensure the Eraring coal-fired power station remains open beyond its artificial retirement date of August 2025. Eraring currently supplies more than 25 per cent of the state’s energy generation.

“The Minns government has provided rare leadership on the critical issue of our nation’s energy security. The Premier has put his state, rather than politics, first in pursuing negotiations with Origin Energy to reduce the chances of Victoria-style blackouts,” said Mr Wild.

“The equation simple. If Eraring closes, the lights go out. Not only in New South Wales, but across the National Energy Market which services 80 per cent of Australia’s energy users.”

Research by the Institute of Public Affairs, Liddell Line in the Sand, released in May 2023, established that no affordable and reliable baseload power station should be allowed to close unless and until a like for like replacement – be it coal-fired or nuclear – is ready to come online.

“For most operators, this will mean making the commonsense decision to push power station closing dates back, well beyond those promised in the rush to meet the federal government’s unrealistic plans for net zero and increased renewable energy to placate the inner-city elite,” said Mr Wild.

“Removing affordable and reliable energy generation from our network has resulted in skyrocketing energy bills, which have already increased by 30 per cent over the past year, leaving families worse off and driving industry offshore.”

“This has happened before, following the closure of the Hazelwood Power Station in Victoria wholesale prices jumped more than 70 per cent compared with the previous year, and over the following three years were 135 per cent higher than the average over the previous decade.”

“The Prime Minister and Chris Bowen’s push to increase renewable energy to 82 per cent by 2030 will only result in higher energy bills, lower reliability and more blackouts.”

“No feasible or affordable combination of intermittent renewables, batteries, pumped hydro and grid extensions can substitute for the reliable and affordable power provided by the proven technology of existing affordable and reliable baseload power stations,” said Mr Wild.

To download IPA research, Liddell Line in the Sand, click here.

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